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Comparative International Use of HIT

By May 22, 2013May 23rd, 2013Commentary

Accenture surveyed 3700 physicians in eight countries to find out how progress is coming on the miracle cure of health information technology.   (Accenture Report)   Use of both electronic medical records and health information exchange across providers appears to be increasing.  The number of doctors who said they routinely access clinical data about a patient from another organization has risen to 47% in 2012 from 33% in 2011.  Ninety-one percent of physicians said they are active users of EMRs in their care of patients.  An increase in the number of physicians who receive testing results electronically was also reported in most countries.  E-prescribing grew from 18% of doctors in 2011 to 21% in 2012.  The United States shows some of the most dramatic gains, which is to be expected given the incentives and potential penalties related to HIT use.  Across all countries usage tends to be highest for basic clinical patient note taking and administrative processes and relatively low for electronic communications with patients or other clinicians.  Spain has one of the highest penetration rates across all uses, along with Singapore, and the United States is actually near the top as well.   Younger doctors tend to be more “digital”, as are those in multi-specialty practices.  Doctors tend to see the benefits of HIT as a reduction in medical errors and better quality of treatment decisions, but don’t agree as widely that HIT improves access or reduces unnecessary procedures or treatments.

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